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Late last week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law SB13-070, a measure that will require state agencies to buy alternative fuel vehicles as a part of their usual replacement programs.

The state began mandating the purchase of flex-fuel and hybrid-electric vehicles in 2008, outlining that such acquisitions had to be executed if the alt-fuel vehicles were priced no more than 10% higher than the comparable gasoline- or diesel-powered models. In 2010, the requirement was refined to include plug-in hybrid EVs. None of these measures took a strong hold at the time, mainly because the incremental costs exceeded the threshold.

Now, the focus has shifted to emphasize the purchase compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and vehicles that operate on "other alternative fuels" (presumably liquefied natural gas and propane autogas) in lieu of flex-fuel vehicles and EVs.

The bill, which was sponsored by State Sen. Gail Schwartz and Reps. Ray Scott and Max Tyler, also provides an exemption if refueling infrastructure is not readily available. Policy-makers have until November 1 to specify exactly what "availability of adequate fuel and fueling infrastructure" means, and the state must also define a path toward making alt-fuel infrastructure more robust in Colorado.

View the bill that the governor signed HERE.


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